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In Micah, He's the Promise of Peace
A Bit of Background
Micah became active in Judah before the whole of Israel saw the fall of Samaria, and he experience much of the devastation when Sennacherib then invaded Judah. Micah was a resident in a rural area as an adult, born in the small town of Moresheth in the southwestern area of Judah.
As a prophet, Micah prophesied during the reigns of King Jotham, King Ahaz and King Hezekiah in Judah (the Southern Kingdom). Micah was also a contemporary of such prophets as Isaiah, Amos and Hosea.
Judgment against Samaria, Judah and Enemy Oppressors
In Micah, chapter 1, God is calling out the sins of Jacob; that is, the sins of Israel, the nation of Israel, specifically of Samaria, the capitol of the Northern Kingdom, the Kingdom of Israel and of Jerusalem, the capitol of the Southern Kingdom, the Kingdom of Judah. Each of these chief cities were involved in idolatry, even promoting it in the temples. As the hub cities for each kingdom, as is the case with most major cities, their practices flowed out into the rural areas, thereby inflicting such practices in every corner of the kingdoms.
In verses 6-8, of Micah 1, there is a very distinct judgment set upon the land of Samaria. As Samaria was built upon the hill region of the area, the soil on which its foundation was laid was good and fertile. God warned that he was sending destruction like never has been seen in Samaria upon the city. When the enemy came in, Samaria would be so completely destroyed that its good and fertile foundational soil would be used to cover the area with vineyards. In this destruction. all that the temple prostitutes purchased and crafted with their collected monies would be used to spend yet again on other temple prostitutes. At the end of the destruction, the only sounds heard of the people would be like those of animals (jackals, hyenas, foxes and even ostriches) in agonizing distress.
In verses 9-16, of Micah 1, there is a very distinct judgment upon the land of Judah. God let the people know that when Samaria fell to her enemy, the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem was soon to follow, and there would be no place in all the Kingdom of Judah that would not feel God's wrath. Micah uses an example of a molting Eagle to give a visual to the people that they would be defenseless against their pervading enemies. As an Eagle casts off its feathers to grow in new ones, it is completely exhausted with no energy for anything else, so shall the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem be so exhausted at their attempts to ward off the enemy that int he ensuing aftermath they will no have energy to even protect their children.
Micah 2:1-11 shows a very distinct judgment on the enemy oppressors of the Israelites. God alone will use the enemies of His people to bring divine punishment to His people, and God alone will cause the ruin of the enemies of His people. Here, the enemy oppressors have the thoughts and feelings that they are in control and control every thing; but, they will learn and know and understand that only God's hand holds the earth and all that is within it. Let this be something that, even in the culture and society of today, we might know and understand as well...God's hand holds the earth and all that is within it, we are in control and control nothing.
There will be a Messianic Kingdom established.
The establishment of the Messianic Kingdom will have a peaceful character and will have much spiritual and political influence on all the nations. It will be a universal and everlasting Kingdom. This is the Blessed Hope that the prophet Micah wished to instill into the people of all of Israel. They were going into captivity and exile, yet; but, there would be a Kingdom, like none other, that would come to Earth and be established with the reigning Messiah as prophesied. This is our Blessed Hope, even today; we know a Kingdom is coming when none but the King shall reign in all His glory for all His people.
How can we approach God, and what does God require of us?
Micah 6:6-8--"With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
We appear before God as defendants who try fervently to assuage our guilt by pleading with God to accept the sacrifices we bring unto Him; as though mere animal sacrifices would be pleasing unto Him. There came one sacrifice, once and for all, that became the only acceptable sacrifice. That is the shedding of the precious blood of the Lamb of God, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the Savior, the Redeemer, the Messiah.
We are to act justly. We are to give to God what is rightly His and what is rightly due Him. We are to love Him with our whole body, soul and spirit. Deuteronomy 6:5--"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."
And we are to love mercy and walk in humility before God. How do we do such? By showing forth the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. By love God above all and showing love to our neighbors. By reaching out in service, not being served. Galatians 5:22-23--"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law."
The next book on this journey of discovery is the book of Nahum. Nahum gives some vivid predictions of the downfall of Nineveh, approximately 150 years after the prophet Jonah was sent to call Nineveh to repentance. As Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, Nahum was purposed to give comfort to Israel, after being harassed for so long by the Assyrians, that they would soon have a promise of destruction and judgment upon their oppressive captors.